All Noble Causes Are Personal / Angel Santiesteban

The old man Alfredo

The police fail to understand how he appears at every protest against the government.

Like a magician with his best trick, they threaten and laugh at him as they consider him to be a joke. They have still not imprisoned him because they fear that he will die in a dungeon, well, this does not bother him.

To him, all worthwhile causes are personal. The latest strategy of the officials is to torment him. They have done a lot but when it comes to Alfredo, it doesn’t work on him.

The put him in a patrol car that then takes him as far away as possible from the place where protest is being held. Old Alfredo remains unperturbed and lets them carry out their outrageous act. He simply reminds them on the journey that they are just henchmen and thugs and he tells them what they are worth.

They leave him abandoned in some place far from any link with civilization. And yet, he does not complain.

He rents a taxi which has been assigned for tourism. Once in the taxi, he directs the driver to Routes 41 and 124, right on the corner of the Military Hospital. Sometimes the driver checks the rearview mirror. The driver tries to get conversation going because, due to his experience as a driver, something smells fishy. But Alfredo only returns a gentle smile.

They arrive at the hospital half an hour later. Alfredo leans over to tell the driver of the exact address where he should stop, right at Section 21, the headquarters of Counterintelligence, who were responsible for abandoning him in that inhospitable place. Upon getting out of the taxi, officials run over to eject him. The taxi driver who has understood, lowers his head worriedly. Alfredo, however, presents himself to them.

“They will pay you for the fare”, he says as he walks away, shouting “thugs” at them.

Translated by Shane J. Cassidy